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Future


Navigating toward the best of all possible futures. Follow along as Singularity Hub discusses the future and latest trends in futurology.

How Much Do Our Genes Restrict Free Will?

Many of us believe we are masters of our own destiny, but new research is revealing the extent to which our behavior is influenced by our genes. It’s now possible to decipher our individual genetic...

Will the Coronavirus Evolve to Be Less Deadly?

No lethal pandemic lasts forever. The 1918 flu, for example, crisscrossed the globe and claimed tens of millions of lives, yet by 1920, the virus that caused it had become significantly less deadly, causing...

Why We Need a Collective Vision to Design the Future of Health

My mother died of Covid-19 at the age of 91. She was recovering from surgery in an assisted-living facility in Durham, North Carolina. While she had previously been healthy, the virus aggressively invaded her...

There Could Be 300 Million (or More) Earth-Like Planets in Our Galaxy

The first planets discovered outside our solar system were strange, unfamiliar worlds. These were giants like Jupiter, hotter than Venus, tearing around their suns inside the orbit of Mercury. Astronomers have since discovered planets...

The Far Side of the Moon Is an Ideal Place to Listen For Alien Civilizations

Are we alone in the universe? It’s a question whose answer—whether it's yes or no—would philosophically and scientifically rock our world to the core. To find out, scientists have long been turning powerful radio telescopes...

Digital Technologies Will Help Build Resilient Communities After the Coronavirus Pandemic

Amid the horrific public health and economic fallout from a fast-moving pandemic, a more positive phenomenon is playing out: Covid-19 has provided opportunities to businesses, universities, and communities to become hothouses of innovation. Around the...

The World’s Space Agencies Are on a Quest to Deflect a (Harmless) Asteroid

People have a bottomless appetite for all things space these days. Some space news is truly mind-blowing, like the first image of a black hole last year or this year’s time lapse of said...

IBM Plans to Have a 1,000-Qubit Quantum Computer by 2023

The point at which quantum computers transition from expensive science experiments to a technology that could reshape the future always seems about a decade away. But a new technology roadmap from IBM suggests that...

Airbus Just Unveiled Three New Zero-Emission Concept Aircraft

Air travel has plummeted during the pandemic; not only do a lot of people not feel safe being in airports or on planes, but with everything we used to do being closed or canceled,...

Resilience Is the New Black: The Lessons of Covid-19

For years it can seem as if the world is predictable, and then all at once, everything changes. Most of us have been blown away by the speed at which the coronavirus, Covid-19, has swept...

Uber Wants to Go All-Electric by 2030. It Won’t Be Easy

The coronavirus pandemic has been an all-around nightmare, but there are a few silver linings. One of these is a renewed focus on the environment. Emissions plummeted worldwide when countries went into lockdown in...

Solarpunk Is Growing a Gorgeous New World in the Cracks of the Old One

What will the future look, smell, sound, taste, and feel like? And why on Earth—and other planets—are those questions relevant, especially given the havoc going on in the world, right here and now? Simply put,...

Airships Are No Longer a Relic of the Past; You Could Ride in One by 2023

As concern over climate change and rising temperatures grows, the airline industry is taking heat (pun intended). Flying accounts for 2.5 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions; that’s lower than car travel and maritime...

This Century Will See Massive Shifts in the Global Population, Economy, and Power Structure

A lot of the predictions we hear about the future involve a hot, crowded planet, one where we need some serious science to figure out how to feed everyone and control rising global temperatures....

The 3D Printed Homes of the Future Are Giant Eggs on Mars

Last month, a 3D printed house that can float on a pontoon was unveiled in the Czech Republic. Last year, work started on a community of 3D printed houses for low-income families in Mexico....

How Drones and Aerial Vehicles Could Change Cities

Drones, personal flying vehicles, and air taxis may be part of our everyday life in the very near future. Drones and air taxis will create new means of mobility and transport routes. Drones will...

New Report Predicts Tech Could Fuel an Age of Freedom—or Make Civilization Collapse

With rapid technological progress running headlong into dramatic climate change and widening inequality, most experts agree the coming decade will be tumultuous. But a new report predicts it could actually make or break civilization...

Why Bitcoin Will Be Crucial in Our Cashless Future

Cold, hard cash is king. But maybe not much longer. In many countries, cash transactions are all but disappearing. People pay with cash just 20 percent of the time in Sweden and only 14 percent...

Fixing What’s Broken: If We Build a Moral Economy, the Future Will Be Better

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, we've been eagerly awaiting a return to normal. We want to be able to go out again, see our friends, and be in public places without feeling like we're risking...

A Human-Centric World of Work: Why It Matters, and How to Build It

Long before coronavirus appeared and shattered our pre-existing “normal,” the future of work was a widely discussed and debated topic. We’ve watched automation slowly but surely expand its capabilities and take over more jobs,...

How to Make Sense of Uncertainty in a Coronavirus World

As the internet churns with information about Covid-19, about the virus that causes the disease, and about what we’re supposed to do to fight it, it can be difficult to see the forest for...

Welcome to Your Sensory Revolution, Thanks to the Pandemic

The way we see, hear, taste, touch, and smell may never be the same again. Courtesy of Covid-19, we are undergoing a sensory revolution. All of the senses have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic—not...

A Chinese Startup Is Selling Glasses for Virus Detection to US Businesses

When will lockdowns end, and what will life be like when they do? These are the questions on most of our minds today; we’ve accepted that even once restrictions ease, society won’t go back to...

Coronavirus: What Are the Chances We’ll Change Our Behavior in the Aftermath?

The world as we know it may never be the same. The global economy has slowed, people are living in isolation, and the death toll from an invisible killer is rising exponentially. The coronavirus...

Coronavirus Is Changing How We Live, Work, and Use Tech—Permanently

Within a week, many world leaders went from downplaying the seriousness of coronavirus to declaring a state of emergency. Even the most efficacious of nations seem to be simultaneously confused and exasperated, with delayed...

Coronavirus Is a Once in a Lifetime Chance to Reshape How We Travel

The transport sector has been impacted as much as any by the coronavirus. This isn’t a normal period of disruption, which is usually caused by failures in supply such as road accidents or industrial...

NASA’s Plan to Build a Base Camp on the Moon Sounds Like Sci-Fi, But It’s Real

If we’re ever going to make Elon Musk’s vision of colonizing Mars a reality, we first need to figure out an essential component of the plan: how to get there. After all, it’s somewhere...

What Will the World Be Like After Coronavirus? Four Possible Futures

Where will we be in six months, a year, ten years from now? I lie awake at night wondering what the future holds for my loved ones. My vulnerable friends and relatives. I wonder...

What Would Life on Mars Be Like? Millions of Us Are Getting a Taste

I live in California’s Bay Area, so for the last week and a half I’ve joined around seven million people in a shelter-in-place mandate. While my family is adjusting to this new normal, I’ve...

Do We Have to Give Up Our Personal Freedoms to Beat Coronavirus?

In late December 2019 Dr. Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist at Wuhan Central Hospital, sent a WeChat message to his medical school alumni group telling them that seven people with severe respiratory and flu-like symptoms...

16 Ways Coronavirus May Change the Way We Look at the World

Crisis. A situation where danger and opportunity intersect. In the last several weeks, we’ve heard and learned a lot about the danger and suffering caused by Covid-19. But opportunities are here too, and not...

After Coronavirus the World Will Never Be the Same. But Maybe, It Can Be Better

Life has changed a lot in the past few days, weeks, or months, depending where you live. As efforts to contain the novel coronavirus ramp up, it’s likely going to change even more. But...

Have Humans Evolved Beyond Nature—and Do We Even Need It?

Such is the extent of our dominion on Earth, that the answer to questions around whether we are still part of nature, and whether we even need some of it, rely on an understanding...

This Is What an AI Said When Asked to Predict the Year Ahead

“What’s past is prologue.” So says the famed quote from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, alleging that we can look to what has already happened as an indication of what will happen next. This idea could be...

How Advertising Will Get Way More Personal—and Then Vanish Completely

Today, less than two decades after the arrival of the internet, Google and Facebook together command more advertising dollars than all print media on the planet. In 2017, Google’s ad campaign revenue totaled over $95 billion,...

7 Business Models Reshaping How We Work, Live, and Create Value

Some of the most potent innovation taking place today does not involve breakthrough technologies, but rather the creation of fundamentally new business models. For most of history, these models were remarkably stable, dominated by...

The Future of Money: AI Investors, Crowdlending, and the Death of Cash

Every day, roughly 60 percent of all market trades are made by computer. When the market turns volatile, this can climb to as high as 90 percent. Robo-advisors are increasingly making this process available to...

20 Technology Metatrends That Will Define the Next Decade

In the decade ahead, waves of exponential technological advancements are stacking atop one another, eclipsing decades of breakthroughs in scale and impact. Emerging from these waves are 20 “metatrends” likely to revolutionize entire industries (old...

How We’ll Buy Things in 2030: Smart Stores and Personalized Experiences

How do you buy your stuff? Do you get in your car, or type with your fingers? E-commerce is surging while brick-and-mortar sales fall. What could possibly save malls and shopping centers? Enter the experience economy. In...

Within 10 Years, We’ll Travel by Hyperloop, Rockets, and Avatars

What’s faster than autonomous vehicles and flying cars? Try Hyperloop, rocket travel, and robotic avatars. Hyperloop is currently working towards 670 mph (1080 kph) passenger pods, capable of zipping us from Los Angeles to downtown...

2 Connections That Will Unleash a Flood of Human Capital

We are about to massively increase the amount of human genius on Earth in two distinct ways. First, by identifying and connecting those geniuses that already exist, but lack access to the right tools (i.e....

Flying Cars, Aerial Ridesharing, and the Not-Too-Distant Future of Transport

In 2018, for the sixth straight year, Los Angeles earned the dubious honor of being the most gridlocked metropolis in the world, where the average driver spends 2.5 working weeks per year trapped in traffic. And countless...

With These 4 Breakthroughs, We’ll Be Able to Write Whole Genomes From Scratch

The ability to read genomes has transformed our understanding of biology. Being able to write them would give us unprecedented control over the fabric of life.  Rapid advances in DNA sequencing and gene editing technology...

The End of the Chinese Miracle Is in Sight. What’s Next?

Governments around the world are rushing to keep up with emerging technologies. No one wants to be left behind as more industries and facets of life are impacted by the transition from analogue to...

Maybe Dangling a Space Elevator Off the Moon Isn’t as Ludicrous as It Sounds

When astronaut Chris Hadfield serenaded the Earth with Bowie’s Space Oddity, many of us got cracking with back-of-the-envelope calculations attempting to figure out how much the guitar cost to send up: probably around $75,000. On...

Driverless and Electric, or Car-Free? The Cities Cutting Out Cars, and Why

It’s common consensus in the tech industry that the days of cars as we know them—powered by gas, driven by humans, and individually owned by all who want and can afford one—are numbered. Imminent...

5 Areas We Should Invest in Now to Survive Climate Change Later

Even if the world manages to keep to the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global mean temperatures to 2°C above pre-industrial levels, climate change is coming. The best way to protect ourselves from its...

Introducing the Augmented World of 2030

Augmented reality is about to add a digital intelligence layer to our every surrounding, transforming retail, manufacturing, education, tourism, real estate, and almost every major industry that holds up our economy today. Just last year,...

The Moral Case for Lightning: A Global Private Payment Network

The other day, I went to buy dog food at my local pet shop. I bought a large bag of dog food and some treats for my dog that claimed to be able to...

Why Companies and Armies Are Hiring Science Fiction Writers

Are you a science fiction writer? Do you have command of the French language? If you can answer yes to both questions, a new job opportunity may be just the thing for you. The recently...

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